Behind the Facade

Wednesday 17th February 2021

We have been really lucky to work with photographer Richard Ansett who has produced some fantastic portraits of Aylesbury estate residents, which have been dramatically projected onto the buildings themselves.

The projections took place in October and were a wonderful collaboration between artist Richard Ansett, Creation Trust and residents of the Aylesbury Estate.

The images created (since the lifting of the first lockdown) are an intimate collaboration with the last residents and offer an alternative narrative to the stereotype and mythologies of urban decay. The project recognises the unwarranted reputation that has overshadowed the amazing lives of generations who have made this place their home against the odds. It is an alternative time capsule to an obituary as the most notorious estate in the UK.

The projections transformed the estate into a backdrop for the communication of a story of diversity and community behind the brutal facade.

Richard Ansett says

 "I have been examining my relationship to other people with my camera my whole career but moving to Camberwell 6 years ago offered an opportunity to ask questions about what community actually is and how I might fit in. I see the infamous, decaying monolith of the Aylesbury Estate from across Burgess Park everyday and during lockdown I thought about the people inside and what their lives might be like and how I didn’t know any of them (and they didn’t know me).

I decided that a good place to start to explore what community is, was in the last place we might think to look and I approached the Creation Trust and was welcomed with open arms.

We hope this will be a transformative event redefining the landscape, literally and metaphorically shining a light on people’s lives and recognising their value above all else."

 Charlotte Benstead - CEO of the Creation Trust says

 “For years it was the first port of call for directors, producers and location scouts looking for grim backdrops to murder scenes, gun and drug storylines and gang-related crimes in soaps and gritty dramas. Due to pressure from local residents, Southwark council banned filming on the estate but all these representations have perpetuated the negative reputation of the estate... We felt we needed a record an alternative and more truthful version."

 "We want to celebrate our residents who have been stuck in their homes during the pandemic and show the world that there are real lives happening behind the vast, grey exterior of the estate.  This is a moment in time, with one phase of the estate now demolished, we felt the need to capture this unique piece of London before it disappears and focus on the amazing people who live here rather than the often negative headlines about their homes.”

 Fly Poster EXHIBITION location: Underneath Missenden Block 166-225, Beaconsfield Rd, London SE17 2EN (runs from 22nd October 2020).